Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of the most aggressive and severe interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) for which there is no cure. IPF is characterized by an excessive accumulation of fibroblasts which secrete an abundance of extracellular proteins such as collagen. These processes lead to repetitive tissue scarring and fibrosis in the lung parenchyma. As a result, lungs become rigid limiting oxygen intake and gas exchange. Once diagnosed, IPF is fatal within 2-3 years. There is no known cause or proven treatment that significantly improves outcomes. Although the cause is unknown, the current model of IPF suggests that an overactive epithelial repair mechanism caused by genetic and epigenetic factors as well as environmental exposures is responsible for the chronic fibrosis and scarring characteristic of IPF. The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-B) signaling pathway has been implicated as a major contributor in activating this chronic fibrosis. An upstream activator of the TGF-B pathway, avB6, has been identified as a potential therapeutic target. My collaborators in Dr. David Baker's lab at the University of Washington have created a novel avB6 integrin inhibitor (BP2_disulf) whose efficacy in improving IPF outcomes has yet to be tested. In my study, I test the ability of BP2_disulf to combat IPF through the use of the standard IPF murine model and translatable end points like non-invasive uCT scans, pulmonary function tests, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) profiles, and histology. With these methods, I demonstrate that intraperitoneal injection of BP2_disulf in bleomycin-injured mice has the ability to decrease rate of fibrotic progression and pulmonary function decline compared to mice treated with bleomycin alone. These results prove that BP2_disulf is a promising therapeutic not only for IPF but other ILDs as well. Further efficacy validation and investigation into an aerosolized delivery method will advance this drug to clinical trials and make it accessible to those in need.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



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idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, IPF, avB6 integrin, TGF-B